Post-recession generation to be majority-minority

Post-recession generation to be majority-minority

The first generation of Americans to be born in the wake of the Great Recession will be the first in the nation's history to include more racial minorities than whites, according to new Census Bureau data.

The data show the recession generation, a cohort of those currently under the age of 6, will be made up of 50.1 percent minorities and 49.9 percent non-Hispanic whites.

The long-term trend means a more diverse America in coming years; by 2044, non-Hispanic whites will be a minority of the total population, according to current projections. Today, 61.3 percent of Americans are non-Hispanic whites.

ADVERTISEMENT

The shift comes as white Americans have fewer children while non-whites build families more quickly, said Cheryl Russell, a demographer and editor in chief of New Strategist Press. 

"By 2030, the majority of people under age 35 will be Asian, black, Hispanic or another minority," Russell said.

Just 59.3 out of every 1,000 white women between the ages of 15 and 44 had children in 2015, Census data show. Hispanic-Americans had a fertility rate of 71.7 per 1,000 women, and African-Americans had a fertility rate of 64.1 per 1,000. Minority growth is also accelerating because Asians and Hispanics are immigrating at a rate that supplements the fertility rate.

Non-Hispanic whites have represented a declining share of the population in each successive generation. 

The silent generation, those currently 71 years and older, are 78.7 percent non-Hispanic white, according to the Census Bureau. The baby boom generation, those currently between the ages of 52 and 70, are 71.2 percent non-Hispanic white. Generation X is 38.5 percent minority, while 44 percent of millennials are minorities. 

The post-millennial generation, dubbed the iGeneration by some, are 47.2 percent minority.

The Census Bureau estimated earlier this month that the U.S. population stands at 323.1 million. Of those, almost 198 million are non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics make up 17.8 percent of the population, or nearly 57.5 million people, while blacks account for 14.5 percent of all Americans, or 46.8 million.

Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing demographic group in recent years. There are 21.4 million Asian-Americans in the country, a 20 percent hike since 2010. Asian-Americans made up more than a quarter of the nation's population growth over the past seven years. 

Hispanic-Americans grew at a slower rate than Asians, 13.2 percent, but because of their higher numbers they represent almost half the growth of the American population since 2010.